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Old Coach House Restaurant
American Dream Cuisine™
The Old Coach House Restaurant
5 Stars and 6 Stripes
Extraordinaire - Society
5 Stars & 6 Stripes
Cuisine & Service

The Ultimate Award:
Seven Stars and Stripes™
Other worldly sounds of melancholic and nostalgic Fado music punctuated our grand entrance into the Old Coach House Restaurant. With the guitarra and viola vying for our attention, pouring out undefined yearning that can't be satisfied, we were immediately trust into the mournful roots of Portuguese music and the heart of the Portuguese soul. Musicians form the Algarve, like Eudoro Grade, are frequent performers in this classical, intimate colonial setting where there is a unique celebration of modern Portuguese cuisine as well as haunting music. We walked in slowly, as if to the cadence of the bass playing viola, past outbursts of color from spring flowers perched on pastel colored tables. I could somehow see that we were being thoroughly prepared for total emersion into the local life and cuisine of the Algarve.
The classical luxurious country house setting began its evolution from a 19th century farm house. The intimate nooks are private yet spacious, inlaid with intricate ceramic tiles in earthy tones. The determined attention to detail is obvious and accentuated with hanging baskets and wicker furniture throughout while the gentile sounds of a trickling fountain can be heard providing a soothing background of "white noise" when the guitarras fall silent.

As I sat back in my comfortable chair to soak up the environmental effect on my psyche, I glanced up to see the traditional eucalyptus pole and cane ceilings hanging above, all the while swearing to Simone that I could also smell it. The mood was set and we were really ready to experience the best that Executive Chef Paula Cristina Matias had to offer.
Bill Hawkins & Paula Cristina Matias & Thorsten Piosczyk
Bill Hawkins & Paula Cristina Matias & Thorsten Piosczyk
Chef Matias teased us with a delightful Menu Degustation (changing her specials daily), offering many varieties of favorite House Specialties; beginning with an Amuse Bouche and ending with a decadent dessert sampler. I fell totally in love with Paula’s cuisine and her cinnamon ice cream specialty, and cream that was; heavy, succulent cream. I ordered a second portion to Simone's disgrace. Nevertheless Simone still talks about ‘her’ unforgettably fruity, home-made wild-berry sorbet. It takes finesse to serve a sorbet the right moment; there is only one, moment that is. All this was magically paired with an enticing assortment of Portuguese wines of the finest selections, many produced locally. Paula Matias echoes the Mediterranean sentiment by using her own food imagery. She is vibrant in choice of her colors, passionate in using her spices and local oils and most creative in her display; a Master de Cuisine. Our eyes indulged, so did our palates. This restaurant alone is worth a day trip. "Service can make or break the finest chef" ..., with the service of Jose Fernandes this restaurant is an overall winner. Fernandes served for years on cruise ships around the world, a master of his trade. His ever-advising, never over-powering service was terrific and must be mentioned.

It seemed like the appropriate thing to do after our delightful candle lit dinner that is to proceed to the Cocktail bar for a relaxing al fresco glass of locally produced Port as a digestif. There is nothing like the feeling you get on a secluded terrace surrounded by stately palms and an open log fireplace crackling behind you allowing an unbridled imagination to soar in complete comfort and security as guests of this warm and friendly place.
"The art of dining well is no slight art, the pleasure not a slight pleasure." - Michel de Montaigne (1533 - 1592)
by Simone Buehrmann & Thorsten Piosczyk

Editor-in-Chief: John Lomitola

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Although the above information was accurate at the time of publication, it can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all pertinent information with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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